I’m Prepared To Fight EFCC – CCT Chair

Justice Danladi Umar

The Chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), Justice Danladi Umar, says he was prepared to fight off the corruption charges filed against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The anti-graft agency brought the charges against Umar last month, accusing him of taking up to N10 million in bribes from a former Customs official who was facing false assets declaration charges before him.

Umar on Tuesday claimed he was facing “trumped up charges,” but was nonetheless prepared to vigorously defend himself in courts.

The tribunal chief accused the EFCC of “unstable” tactics, saying the charges were brought against him after he had been twice cleared by the same agency.

“We’re waiting for the court summon and which judge the case will be assigned to. After that, we’ll see how this would play out.” Umar said through the tribunal’s spokesperson, Ibrahim Al-Hassan.

The EFCC had filed charges against Umar at the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court on January 25. It was endorsed by the court on January 2, but no judge was immediately assigned to hear the case.

The charges, prepared by Festus Keyamo (SAN), an EFCC prosecutor, came about two years after the anti-graft agency last absolved Umar of any wrongdoing in a case of judicial bribery and racketeering.

Court filings released by Keyamo said Umar collected N10 million from Rasheed Taiwo, a former Customs official who was facing false assets declaration charges before the Code of Conduct Tribunal sometime in 2012.

The prosecution also accused Umar of receiving N1.8 million of the N10 million bribe sum through one of his personal assistants, Gambo Abdullahi.

Umar said he wondered why Keyamo suddenly became the prosecuting counsel in the bribery case, especially since his law firm had been standing as defence counsel for Taiwo. But now he has suddenly become the EFCC prosecutor to charge the CCT chairman for the allegations that his client brought.

Al-Hassan said Keyamo appeared for Taiwo until recently when he stopped coming. Still, lawyers from his chambers stilled appeared for Taiwo in the last two hearings.

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